diamond geezer

 Monday, February 06, 2012

I've been meaning to run this series of posts on diamond geezer for some years now.
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee has given me the perfect excuse.
A report on all the London streets named Diamond Something.
Happy sixtieth, today, Your Majesty.




Diamond Terrace Greenwich, SE10
On the residential slopes above non-tourist Greenwich, a warren of Victoriana covers the hillside. There are some most desirable properties up here, from spacious townhouses to narrow two-up two-downs, all in an ace location that's ever-so estate agent-friendly. We're homing in on one street, if you can call it a street, and that's Diamond Terrace. From Hyde Vale it looks like a private driveway, maybe two, ascending the hill into wooded seclusion. From Point Hill, beside one of the larger stucco lodgings, it looks like a back alley to someone's garage. And so it is, but further along it opens out to form a one-sided semi-private lane, running for a couple of hundred yards along a contour. You wouldn't walk along this unmade road by mistake - indeed the residents would probably rather you didn't walk along here at all. They live in blessed isolation in a motley collection of houses, most with marvellous views (at this leafless time of year) across the immediate skyline. One of London's protected views runs from The Point - at the top of the hill - across to St Paul's and Central London. Both are harder to see from Diamond Terrace because a row of chimneypots gets in the way, but the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf are clearly visible from up here, and the Greenwich Clock Tower too. If you're not familiar with the area, you may be surprised how steeply the slopes of SE10 rise up. The street parallel to Diamond Terrace is at least three storeys down, or a similar differential up, depending. You'd pay a panoramic premium to live here, as some of the assorted dwellings make evident. First past the garages are a brief collection of semi-detacheds, with gardens mostly paved, one with a stone cat acting as sentinel by the recycling bins. Then a couple of four-storey Georgian blocks, originally family homes, whose current owners protect their parking spaces with passive aggressive traffic cones. A little grander with a wrought iron balcony for the next pair, very Dickensian, very tastefully done. And finally, alas, I didn't venture right down to the end of the cul-de-sac for fear of looking intensely suspicious, but anywhere with its own heritage streetlamps has be top council tax band, surely. This was the only Diamond-themed street I visited with a lock-up offering Motor Services for classic cars, and also the only place where a faux fur shawl had been dumped in a hedge below the official nameplate. Diamond Terrace could have been snobbishly awful, but I found this back lane individual, withdrawn and understated. Just don't go looking for it on Google Streetview because it isn't there. The camera-van probably never found either of the minor entrances, or else the residents blockaded themselves in to keep this woody enclave a well-kept secret.
[streetmap] [street name] [street photo]



Diamond Way Deptford, SE8
Less than a mile away, on the other side of the River Ravensbourne, lies a very different Diamond. You'll find it in the heart of Deptford, just off the High Street, but don't let that prejudge your expectations. This isn't a row of crumbling terraced houses round the corner from a row of pound shops, nor part of a hinterland of postwar council flats. Indeed Diamond Way isn't a residential street at all, not unless you include dead bodies, because this is the alleyway through the graveyard of St Paul's Church. What a fantastic (and unexpected) church this is - Italianate Baroque, which is rare enough, built of Portland Stone with a circular tower beneath a circular steeple. It looks quite European, surely Roman Catholic, but its origins are wholly C of E. Three hundred years ago this was one of twelve churches commissioned to serve London's growing population, the most famous of which are the Hawksmoors in Shoreditch, Limehouse, nearby Greenwich et al. The architect here in Deptford was Thomas Archer, also responsible for Birmingham Cathedral and bits of Chatsworth House. In 1969 St Paul's entered the custodianship of a new parish priest, the outgoing Father David Diamond. He built up the congregation, repositioned St Paul's at the heart of the local community, even instigated the Deptford Festival, until his untimely death in 1992. In grateful remembrance parishioners named the path along the northern edge of the church Diamond Way. It doesn't really need a name, to be honest, it's merely a cut-through from the High Street to Church Street, and the only street sign is semi-hidden behind railings and a lamppost at the western end. Close by (and facing the bookies opposite) is a red-painted cross, plus crucified Christ, as a reminder of why the church is here. And beyond are numerous stone memorials, gravestones and the like, looking precisely as weatherbeaten as you'd expect after nearly three centuries, and surround by newly laid turf (because pedestrians don't necessarily stick to the paths). It would be so easy to walk along the High Street and never notice this green oasis, indeed not to spot that this part of town has more to offer than non-chain shops and a bustling market. But the church John Betjeman described as the "Pearl in the Heart of Deptford" still thrives, and remembers, along Diamond Way.
[streetmap] [street name] [street photo]


<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>


click to return to the main page


...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
life viewed from london e3

email    twitter    G+

my flickr photostream

What's on this weekend?
Sun 4 December (8am-10pm)
Tower Bridge fully closed
For one day only, cross the river by free passenger ferry!

twenty blogs
853
arseblog
ian visits
londonist
scaryduck
blue witch
city metric
the great wen
onionbagblog
edith's streets
spitalfields life
linkmachinego
in the aquarium
round the island
wanstead meteo
london museums
christopher fowler
ruth's coastal walk
london reconnections
dirty modern scoundrel

quick reference features
Things to do in Outer London
The DG Tour of Britain
Comment Value Hierarchy

read the archive
Dec16  Nov16  Oct16  Sep16
Aug16  Jul16  Jun16  May16
Apr16  Mar16  Feb16  Jan16
Dec15  Nov15  Oct15  Sep15
Aug15  Jul15  Jun15  May15
Apr15  Mar15  Feb15  Jan15
Dec14  Nov14  Oct14  Sep14
Aug14  Jul14  Jun14  May14
Apr14  Mar14  Feb14  Jan14
Dec13  Nov13  Oct13  Sep13
Aug13  Jul13  Jun13  May13
Apr13  Mar13  Feb13  Jan13
Dec12  Nov12  Oct12  Sep12
Aug12  Jul12  Jun12  May12
Apr12  Mar12  Feb12  Jan12
Dec11  Nov11  Oct11  Sep11
Aug11  Jul11  Jun11  May11
Apr11  Mar11  Feb11  Jan11
Dec10  Nov10  Oct10  Sep10
Aug10  Jul10  Jun10  May10
Apr10  Mar10  Feb10  Jan10
Dec09  Nov09  Oct09  Sep09
Aug09  Jul09  Jun09  May09
Apr09  Mar09  Feb09  Jan09
Dec08  Nov08  Oct08  Sep08
Aug08  Jul08  Jun08  May08
Apr08  Mar08  Feb08  Jan08
Dec07  Nov07  Oct07  Sep07
Aug07  Jul07  Jun07  May07
Apr07  Mar07  Feb07  Jan07
Dec06  Nov06  Oct06  Sep06
Aug06  Jul06  Jun06  May06
Apr06  Mar06  Feb06  Jan06
Dec05  Nov05  Oct05  Sep05
Aug05  Jul05  Jun05  May05
Apr05  Mar05  Feb05  Jan05
Dec04  Nov04  Oct04  Sep04
Aug04  Jul04  Jun04  May04
Apr04  Mar04  Feb04  Jan04
Dec03  Nov03  Oct03  Sep03
Aug03  Jul03  Jun03  May03
Apr03  Mar03  Feb03  Jan03
Dec02  Nov02  Oct02  Sep02
back to main page

diamond geezer 2015 index
diamond geezer 2014 index
diamond geezer 2013 index
diamond geezer 2012 index
diamond geezer 2011 index
diamond geezer 2010 index
diamond geezer 2009 index
diamond geezer 2008 index
diamond geezer 2007 index
diamond geezer 2006 index
diamond geezer 2005 index
diamond geezer 2004 index
diamond geezer 2003 index
diamond geezer 2002 index

my special London features
a-z of london museums
E3 - local history month
greenwich meridian (N)
greenwich meridian (S)
the real eastenders
london's lost rivers
olympic park 2007
great british roads
oranges & lemons
random boroughs
bow road station
high street 2012
river westbourne
trafalgar square
capital numbers
east london line
lea valley walk
olympics 2005
regent's canal
square routes
silver jubilee
unlost rivers
cube routes
metro-land
capital ring
river fleet
piccadilly
bakerloo

ten of my favourite posts
the seven ages of blog
my new Z470xi mobile
five equations of blog
the dome of doom
chemical attraction
quality & risk
london 2102
single life
boredom
april fool

ten sets of lovely photos
my "most interesting" photos
london 2012 olympic zone
harris and the hebrides
betjeman's metro-land
marking the meridian
tracing the river fleet
london's lost rivers
inside the gherkin
seven sisters
iceland

just surfed in?
here's where to find...
diamond geezers
flash mob #1  #2  #3  #4
ben schott's miscellany
london underground
watch with mother
cigarette warnings
digital time delay
wheelie suitcases
war of the worlds
transit of venus
top of the pops
old buckenham
ladybird books
acorn antiques
digital watches
outer hebrides
olympics 2012
school dinners
pet shop boys
west wycombe
bletchley park
george orwell
big breakfast
clapton pond
san francisco
thunderbirds
routemaster
children's tv
east enders
trunk roads
amsterdam
little britain
credit cards
jury service
big brother
jubilee line
number 1s
titan arum
typewriters
doctor who
coronation
comments
blue peter
matchgirls
hurricanes
buzzwords
brookside
monopoly
peter pan
starbucks
feng shui
leap year
manbags
penelope
bbc three
vision on
piccadilly
meridian
concorde
wembley
islington
ID cards
bedtime
freeview
beckton
blogads
eclipses
letraset
arsenal
sitcoms
gherkin
calories
everest
muffins
sudoku
camilla
london
ceefax
robbie
becks
dome
BBC2
paris
lotto
118
itv